Registers of Deeds, Andrea F. Nuciforo Jr. Says Southern and Northern District Registries Owed a Collective $775,000 in MERS Fees

Registers of deeds usually remain out of the political spotlight, unless up for re-election, but Nuciforo believes he and his colleagues must prevent MERS alleged deceptive practices.

“I have an obligation to make sure our [registry’s] documents are an accurate reflection of who owns the mortgage to a property,” he said.


Mortgage business ‘stiffing’ county

PITTSFIELD — A Virginia-based mortgage registry business mired in the nation’s housing foreclosure investigation has apparently “stiffed” the three Berkshire Registry of Deeds offices of nearly $2 million in recording fees for more than a decade, local registry officials have claimed.

Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. of Reston, Va. failed to pay an estimated $1.18 million to the Middle District Registry of Deeds in Pittsfield from June 1999 through July of this year, according to Register of Deeds Andrea F. Nuciforo Jr. In addition, Nuciforo’s staff has calculated that the Southern and Northern District registries in North Adams and Great Barrington respectively are owed a collective $775,000 during the same 12-year period.

The $75 state-mandated fee in question is for each time a home mortgage is sold or swapped — known as an assignment — to another lending institution after it has been initially recorded in the appropriate registry. The money collected goes into the state’s general revenue fund.

MERS was established 16 years ago by mortgage companies Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and financial giants like Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase to make it easier for banks and lenders to sell mortgages as an investment.

“It’s become an elaborate stiffing scheme to avoid paying registry fees,” Nuciforo said.

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2 Responses to “Registers of Deeds, Andrea F. Nuciforo Jr. Says Southern and Northern District Registries Owed a Collective $775,000 in MERS Fees”
  1. Mark says:

    Does this mean that if the $75.00 fee is not paid up front that the assinmentis not Valid?

    • AliceN.Wunderland says:

      Mark, the assignment can only be filed if the fee is paid. There are two issues here.

      1) In the majority of cases there were no assignments filed at all. The creators of MERS decided they would keep the records on there system, thus saving the servicers money when rights to servicing were transferred/assigned. The chain of title was broken when the assignments were not recorded. The counties lost millions of dollars that the taxpayers had to make up by increases in property taxes due to lost revenue.

      2)Most of the assignments that were actually filed were robo-signed even tho the fee was paid to record them. The assignment is therefore not valid because it was fraudulent when it was recorded. The Servicers/debt collectors are having the court accept the fraudulent documents making the court complicit in the fraud.

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